How about a real-world version of the Daily Prophet newspaper to spook your friends this Halloween? While we have had the stuff of that sort before, here is one that uses an e-paper display and a Teensy microcontroller that makes up the core of the entire setup. Also, ardent Harry Potter fans should have an instant connection with the Daily Prophet newspaper though for the other, here is a short intro to the same.
The Daily Prophet newspaper goes by its namesake in the Harry Potter films where animated images get shown. Of course, that is the result of computer generated special effects though the real-world version of the same has been devised by a self-confessed Harry Potter fan Deep Tronix and is brought to life with the use of some cool tech bits, an e-paper for the display, and smart implementation of all the tech involved.
For instance, a hidden camera allows for automatic face detection with the ESP32 microcontroller working behind the scenes. The above setup works in tandem with the Teensy microcontroller to record a person’s face as well as display the same on the e-paper display, making it seem all the more eerie, more so when the faces are displayed at random.
Also, to mitigate the issue of pixel ‘burn-ins’ which often leaves a mark on the display even if it tends to go away post a few refresh cycles, there is the custom dithering library that has been resorted to, and the results are quite impressive. Further, an external SD card has been used to display moving images post processing to make it seem akin to the rest of the newspaper print.
All of the hardware bits are accommodated within the picture frame so that the unsuspecting viewer can be easily taken for a ride with the interactive nature of the display. In fact, it can be quite unnerving when the display starts to show the image of the viewer, enough to scare your friends this Halloween season.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.